Wednesday, 30 April 2003

so… i’m — aahh — i had a poem in the stu­dent lit­er­ary mag­a­zine, The Juggler. does that make me a pub­lished poet? or does it have to count else­where? can i call my­self a poet now or is that still pre­ma­ture?

i was also in­ducted into the lambda al­pha beta chap­ter of the Anthropology Honor Society. I got a groovy card and a cer­tifi­cate. I don’t re­ally know what it means to be what­ever I am now. In fact, I think it is just a thing to say that you are and has no real mean­ing or im­pact. Kinda like Shriners. Or maybe not, cuz Shriners get to drive around in go-carts at pa­rades and they get to wear fezzes (sp? fezi?). More like a mem­ber of Congress. Yeah, def­i­nitely con­gress.


Tuesday, 29 April 2003

yesterday’s po­etry feed­back group was less than help­ful in most ways, but more than help­ful in one ma­jor way. My writ­ing, and dic­tion, needs to change un­less i want to alien­ate read­ers and have them dis­miss my work. ap­par­ently, and i can see this quite eas­ily, my ter­mi­nol­ogy is a bit ar­chaic, peo­ple can’t get their head around my lan­guage con­struc­tions, and there­fore can­not grasp my in­tent.

i also, and this is equally im­por­tant, and from my own re­al­iza­tions, need to come up with top­ics to write about that aren’t quite so cere­bral. i think i of­ten use po­etry as a form to speak on what­ever has been cog­i­tat­ing in the olé nog­gin. per­haps in­stead of tak­ing some­thing ab­stract and putting it into tan­gi­ble per­haps I should get my hands in the clay be­fore cre­at­ing the pot.

thus, i must change, in or­der to reach read­ers i have to be able to cre­ate the scene with con­tem­po­rary lan­guage. this presents a prob­lem for me be­cause i have trou­ble mak­ing im­ages and sit­u­a­tions sound fresh and when i try to spice things up i in­evitably get a bit old-fash­ioned. i need to fig­ure out how to di­rect my­self to­ward the fu­ture or tap into the present in­stead of us­ing the past as my re­course. how do i do this?


Sunday, 27 April 2003

some­times i worry that peo­ple will think i’m a poser be­cause i am just in­ter­ested enough in some­thing to find out a bit about it, en­gage my­self within it, and ride for a bit. then, when ques­tioned upon said some­thing i can­not sat­isfy that person’s re­quire­ments of knowl­edge and fail­ure en­sues. both of us fail, i fail to sat­isfy and they fail be­cause they as­sume and la­bel me in­cor­rectly. then they fail be­cause they think i am a poser when i am re­ally not try­ing to be any­thing at all. ap­par­ently i have an ap­a­thy on the or­der of the hin­den­berg to ac­tu­ally be­come any­thing. ei­ther that or i’m happy be­ing me. some­times i think they are the same thing.

Sophomore Year 2001 – 2002

Friday, 25 April 2003

this year was my sec­ond best in col­lege, mostly due to be­ing on the fenc­ing team, which let me ex­pel my — ex­cess — en­ergies. i also de­clared my ma­jors, Anthropology and Film & Television, and got firmly into the swing of my classes. First se­mes­ter I got a pity D in my Classical Greek 103 class mostly be­cause I was one of three un­der­grad­u­ates in a class of grad­u­ate the­ol­ogy stu­dents, thus the pro­fes­sor struc­tured the class to­ward them and did not re­al­ize it un­til it was too late for my­self and an­other un­der­grad. The third un­der­grad had taken Greek in High School and was the best in class at trans­lat­ing the Iliad.

I took an ex­is­ten­tial­ist phi­los­o­phy class, and re­ally got into that for awhile. I saw my­self as an ex­is­ten­tial­ist of the Albert Camus school, ex­cept in­stead of be­ing au­to­matic in my life of ab­sur­dity, i laughed along with it.Thus, when the cam­pus sprin­klers would turn on and spray me, i could do noth­ing more than shake a rue­ful head. some things (the sprin­klers for in­stance) never change.

i still lived in sec­tion 4B, and it was great to have a group of fresh­men in the sec­tion. We told them to do things and they did them. hehe. I also made a good friend out of Jeremy May, a new guy in 4B but a se­nior, who lived at the end of the hall. Through, him I also be­came friends with Steve Luke who spent in­or­di­nate amounts of time in my room play­ing Playstation (46 hours in one week that we kept track of).

Rooming with Mike was pretty darn good, apart from his taste in mu­sic which i thought rather taste­less. Our room was the com­mon room for much of the sec­tion and it would not sur­prise ei­ther of us to come back from classes and find some­one else in the room do­ing some­thing (usu­ally steve).

the foot­ball sea­son was much bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous year, we were 9 – 2 and went to the Fiesta Bowl, a de­ba­cle where we were beaten to death by Beavers from Oregon State. On the fenc­ing end of my sports life, i was work­ing my tail off, com­ing in early and do­ing drills, beg­ging for lessons, etc. I be­gan to im­prove slowly, and my big break came when my cap­tain Jan had to be in Cuba for a fenc­ing tour­na­ment the same week­end of one of our tour­neys at Northwestern. Thus, I got to travel, I did rel­a­tively well for my first col­le­giate fenc­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and by the end of the year I had man­aged to win enough bouts to mono­gram, a feat I was told was im­pres­sive for first year walkons. (PUFF PUFF EGO PUFF PUFF)

my love life sucked, but i also wasn’t try­ing that hard. I was sex­iled for a 17 hour stretch one evening/​night/​morning by my room­mate who let his girl­friend “ac­ci­den­tally” sleep past vis­it­ing hours and then told her she would have to spend the night. I spent the night on a couch in the sec­tion lounge. I then wrote about this in Harlem’s Hitlist, the vul­gar sec­tion newslet­ter i wrote for the sec­tion in place of the in­cred­i­bly spo­radic ‘Roos News. This newslet­ter, quite harm­less re­ally, picked on par­tic­u­lar peo­ple in the sec­tion each week, but the per­son picked on was al­ways in good hu­mor about it. ex­cept the RA, he took it upon him­self, and also the rec­tor, who hap­pened to read my most of­fen­sive ver­sion to tell me to cease and de­sist, i in­stead took it un­der­ground and dis­trib­uted it via email. i can­not be stopped.

I fi­nally man­aged to get into the in­tro­duc­tory film course, sec­ond se­mes­ter of my sopho­more year, af­ter jump­ing through flam­ing hoops and wad­ing through pi­ranha in­fested wa­ters. i had de­clared as a ma­jor yet they (the de­part­ment) still would not give me a spot. I even­tu­ally got a spot through the gen­eral reg­is­tra­tion pe­riod, but be­cause of the Film department’s ex­treme help­ful­ness, I was two se­mes­ters be­hind and there­fore I was never able to take Advanced Film Production or Pro Video Production.

Thus en­deth the year of the half-wise.

Freshman Year 1999 – 2001

Wednesday, 23 April 2003

This is sup­posed to be the tough­est year of col­lege, and in terms of in­tel­lec­tual growth that rings true. Although personal/​social growth would also top this list if not for my Junior year. That comes later how­ever.

I sup­pose I was a bit scared about go­ing to col­lege and liv­ing in an 8’ x 14’ room with some­one I had never met be­fore and shar­ing an­other room with two other peo­ple I had never met be­fore. Actually, per­haps I was quite scared, or even ter­ri­fied. Needless to say, my lifestyle was not suited to that of my room­mates. I did not have a fake ID, nor did I drink. at all. I also liked my sleep, 8 hours if I could get it. My room­mate Mike Lane and my other quad­mates John Antonucci and Paul Buser were all busi­ness ma­jors, whilst I was an Arts & Letters ma­jor. Business ma­jors have it eas­i­est here at Notre Dame in re­gard to class dif­fi­culty and course work (with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of the Sociology Dept.) and they would of­ten throw im­promptu par­ties 2 or 3 times a week. On nights when they didn’t have par­ties they of­ten went to the Boat Club and stum­bled back usu­ally at 5 in the morn­ing. This hap­pened pretty much the whole year.

On top of this, my room­mate, who drank at least 5 times a week, and skipped most of his classes most of the time sleep­ing off the al­co­hol man­aged to swing a 4.0 his first sem­ster, while I strug­gled with chem­istry and cal­cu­lus and got a 2.7.

As for the other fresh­men in my sec­tion I was the only A&L ma­jor. 14 to­tal fresh­men, 3 pre-med, 1 en­gi­neer­ing, 1 A&L, and 9 busi­ness ma­jors. The up­per­class­men con­sisted to a great ma­jor­ity of sopho­mores who were nice but had their own things to do, some ju­niors who I never even talked to, and a group of se­niors who I owe quite a bit to.

The foot­ball games took a bit of get­ting used to, but here I knew what to do, hid­ing in plain sight cov­ered in blue and gold body paint with a bright blue wig. The seats were in the cor­ner as is usual for fresh­men, but we were also the heart from whence all spirit was pumped. Bob Davie was the un­for­tu­nate coach at this time. He sucks. The tail­gat­ing be­fore the games was not great fun how­ever, drink­ing drink­ing drink­ing every­where. Was there noth­ing else to do at ND?

I strug­gled with this, even to the point of con­sid­er­ing a trans­fer to a state school where it was eas­ier to get off cam­pus, where many off cam­pus places are geared to­ward the stu­dents and to where I wouldn’t feel as pres­sured to drink, and to where the gen­der re­la­tions would be some­thing ap­proach­ing nor­mal for col­lege stu­dents. Apparently, that didn’t hap­pen — al­though per­haps it did in an al­ter­nate uni­verse.

The se­niors Jes s Morales, Liam Thidemann, and AJ Boyd, and my RA Joe Hyder had a great deal to do with pulling me out of my shell. There was this nasty con­coc­tion that the DH would serve about once every two weeks called Toad-In-The-Hole. I will not de­scribe it suf­fice to say it was hor­ren­dous. Each time it was served I would smug­gle out one more than the last time and present them to my RA in cre­ative ways (ex: The Blair Toad Project). He had no idea who it was un­til some­one snitched. But it was all in good fun. The se­niors who deshelled me to some ex­tent did so when one day Jes s no­ticed that I had a Magic deck. He also played. and from there it was down­hill.

We started play­ing magic, which led to Starcraft, which led to me al­low­ing them to set me up for the Chariot Race dance. Which led to me meet­ing Brian Johnsen. Which led me to meet­ing Brian Stone, who when I ex­pressed an in­ter­est in learn­ing to fence agreed to teach me to do so, as he was the as­sis­tant coach of the fenc­ing team. So its a good thing I played Magic or I would be a to­tally dif­fer­ent per­son to­day.

I also made a friend from out east named Abby. I met her through AIM and she came out to visit me on her spring break and I rec­i­p­ro­cated once the school year ended. I last spoke with her dur­ing this last sum­mer but per­haps she still reads this.

Other no­table things that hap­pened my fresh­man year: I saw the Smashing Pumpkins for the first time at Purdue University where I vis­ited my friends Brian Rose, David Ledman, and Bo Ledman and met his soon to be wife Kerri. I lost my vir­gin­ity. I learned what a glo­ri­ous thing Stolichnaya vodka can be. I made friends with Meagan Call. I down­loaded my first mp3 us­ing Napster. I de­cided to be room­mates in a dou­ble (glo­ri­ous! more room!) with the lone en­gi­neer in the sec­tion, Mike Castorano. I suc­cess­fully walked on to the Notre Dame Fencing Team. I ate at both Bibler’s Pancake House and CJ’s Pub in the same day.

Fencing Video

Tuesday, 22 April 2003

in­stead of writ­ing one of my 4 pa­pers, yes­ter­day was spent log­ging, cap­tur­ing, and edit­ing my trib­ute to the 2002 – 2003 National Champions: The Notre Dame Fencing Team. Not only was it fun to get back be­hind an edit­ing util­ity, i also got to be a bit nos­tal­gic over the days in HS when i would make mu­sic videos for var­i­ous sports up­com­ing tour­na­ments. i’m not go­ing to post a link to the video be­cause some of you schmoes who read this are on the fenc­ing team. NO PEEKING!

in the next two weeks i’m go­ing to re­cap my var­i­ous years here at ND. they posts will prob­a­bly be long and un­in­ter­est­ing. as op­posed to the typ­i­cal short and un­in­ter­est­ing.

Easter Weekend

Monday, 21 April 2003

as usual i ac­com­plished lit­tle enough this easter week­end, but hope­fully i will get sig­nif­i­cantly more done to­day. i fi­nally get to do some video edit­ing af­ter a hia­tus of a few months. un­for­tu­nately i have a fenc­ing re­cep­tion in the ro­tunda of the main build­ing right smack dab in the mid­dle of the 6 hour slot that the lab is open. that kinda blows. i had two ban­quets last week and three more com­ing up on the 29th, 30th, and 1st. crazi­ness. with all this food eat­ing i won­der if i will have time to write my pa­pers.